Occupy Miami Prepares For Next Step After Eviction
The officers were restrained, for the most part
For the most part, Occupy Miami remained under the national radar during the three-and-a-half months it occupied the lawn beside Government Center county hall.
There were no battles in the streets between cops and protesters. There was no viral video emerging from Occupy Miami showing police officers pepper spraying non-resistant activists.
In fact, there were hardly any arrests.
That is, until Occupy Miami activists traveled up to Washington D.C. in December as part of a national Occupy convention when two members were arrested during a protest against lobbyists.
There were also a few arrests last month when Occupy Miami activists joined up with Occupy FIU activists for a concert on Florida International University’s campus.
And there were some arrests last month when activists traveled up to Boca Raton to protest against a hedge fund investor conference.
But the relationship between activists and the local law enforcement agencies they dealt with on daily basis, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Miami Police Department, was extremely cordial
Even when about 150 city and county cops clad in riot gear evicted the activists from their encampment last Tuesday, the officers remained restrained for the most part – at least compared to what we’ve seen in Oakland, New York City and Los Angeles.
They didn’t even bother to arrest the six activists who had barricaded themselves behind pallets in a demonstration of solidarity and defiance.
They did make six arrests, including two activists on felony inciting a riot charge because they were dancing too close to the officers who were marching down the street.
They also arrested three activists on loitering charges who were waiting by their parked vehicle a few blocks from Government Center to pick up activists who were evacuating the encampment. And their charges have already been dismissed.
And they did arrest me, but that’s another story altogether because it took place after all the activists had been dispersed and it was a public information officer who had me arrested.
The truth is, most of the activists willingly packed up their tents and belongings and left their encampment not because they had given up the fight, but to take it to another level.
Their main focus will be addressing the issue of foreclosures in South Florida, which has been a rampant problem down here.
We’re going to fan out and take the fight to communities county-wide with the creation of an Occupy Homes committee,” said Bruce Wayne, an Occupy Miami activist.
“We have events lined up for March 1st Day of Action for Education and May 1st General Strike. We are also looking into organizing community picnics to get more folks involved in determining the direction of the movement.”
Despite the fact that they did fly under the radar throughout the entire Occupy season, they weren’t exactly sitting around the encampment twiddling their thumbs.
Here is a list of accomplishments compiled by Wayne.
10/15 Organized a 1000+ strong rally at the Torch of Friendship that marched to the Government Center which marked the first day of occupation.
11/1 Combines forces with 1Miami, LIFFT, UMStudentForum, SEIU, & Miami Workers Center to protest Bank of America, Chase, and Goldman Sachs.
11/5 Protested Goldman Sach’s subsidiary EDMC and fraud in higher education at the Art Institute of Miami.
11/9 Hosted political rapper Immortal Technique.
11/6 Teach in with local cartoonist Stephanie McMillan of One Struggle Florida critiquing global capitalism and class-divided economies.
11/11 Hosted a teach-in on workers rights by Organization United for Respect at Walmart.
11/12 Organized a “Veterans And Families Rally For Peace” march.
11/14 Hosted a teach-in by Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition on the prison industrial complex.
11/17 Mobilized over 1500+ people for the #N17 National Day of Action.
11/23 Stood in solidarity with Angela Samuels, victim of home foreclosure.
11/28 Visited the officers of Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson urging them not to vote for the passage of the NDAA.
12/6 Participated in the first ever NationalGA at the Washington Monument as part of #99inDC
12/7 Two Occupy Miami protesters were arrested while part of a thousand-strong action to shut down K-Street in Washington, DC.
12/10 Helped to coordinate The People’s Convention of Florida, the first statewide meeting of Occupy sites.
12/16 Marched on Dade County Courthouse steps for the #D16 Day of Action for Bradley Manning
1/9 Attended and spoke at a United Teachers of Dade rally.
1/24 2 members of Occupy Miami, were arrested while protesting the for-profit prison industry at the GAIM conference in Boca Raton.
1/15 Held a voting rights rally in commemoration of Martin Luther King day, with a speech by Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
1/20 Participated in the Move to Amend #OccupyTheCourts National Day of Action to protest corporate personhood and the Citizens United ruling.
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"Occupy Miami Prepares For Next Step After Eviction"